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fures more than lovers of God, ye shall be slain all of you ; “ as a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence.” Reinember the misery of those who die in an unconverted ftate : “ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the “ living God. Who can abide with devouring fire? Who “ can dwell with everlasting burnings ?” Admire the infinite grace of God through our Lord Jesus Christ, and admire the infinite wisdom of God that hath laid help for you upon one who is “ mighty to save.” May I not say, that, on this folemn occasion, your Saviour speaks to you, not only in his word, but from his cross ? See the justice of God in the cross of Christ, and thence learn the evil of sin. See the power and wrath of God in the cross of Christ, and tremble at your own state. See the matchless love of God in the cross of Christ, and be persuaded to return to him with weeping, with supplication, and with mourn. ing. Let the eye of faith be pointed at the dying Saviour, and say unto him, “ O almighty sufferer, look down, look “ down from thy triumphant infamy, pity and pierce this “ hard heart with a sense of guilt and misery. Thou hast 6 faid, that when thou shouldst be lifted up from the earth, “ thou wouldst draw all men unto thee : let this promise “ be fulfilled to my experience. Draw me, we will run " afier thee. Lord, take away my complicated guilt; “ Lord, renew and pacify my unsanctified affections, form “ me for thyself, that I may serve thee here, and afterwards “ see thee as thou art!
3. From what hath been said upon this subject, you may examine your title to partake of the holy ordinance of the Lord's lupper ; or, in other words, your right to the favor of God, and to eternal life. No disposition more suitable, none more necessary, at a communion-table, than a grateful and admiring sense of redeeming love. Not only the profane blasphemer, or the scornful despiser, is unfit to sit down at this feast, but the self-righteous formalist who never saw himself undone. It is true, indeed, that when angels themselves are put to a sland, all our thoughts mult foon be lost and swallowed up. But, my brethren, do you desire to look into it? Do you feel a sensible pleasure and delight in this facred employment ? Do you, in fone
measure, see the glory of divine grace, though you are not able to measure its dimensions ? There is no subject so obfcure and unintelligible to those who are strangers to the power of religion, as the mystery of redeeming love ; no fubject fo odious and distafelul to those whore minds are formed upon the maxims of the world, as the doctrine of lalvation by grace. Christ upon a cross, Christ upon a throne, Christ the believer's rock and refuge, the source of his strength, and the source of his comfort, they are neither able to relish nor comprehend. All the warm expressions of gratitude and attachment, which are unspeakably sweet and ravishing to a serious soul, appear to them in the light of enthusiasm and visionary folly. But as many as it hath plealed God to bless with an inward and personal conviction of their lost state by nature, will see the greatest beauty in this plan of salvation, and will rather rejoice, than shrink, at sharing with their Redeemer himself the contempt of the world. They will say, with the apostle Paul, Gal. vi. 14. “ God forbid that I should glory, fave in the cross of “ our Lord Jesus Christ.” There is a beautiful opposition ftated by the same apostle, between a believer's understanding the love of Christ, and yet being unable to search it to the bottom, in the following passage, Eph. iii. 17, 18, 19. “ That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith ; that “ye being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to “ comprehend with all faints, what is the breadth, and “ length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of “ Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled " with all the fulness of God."
4. In the last place, From what has been said, learn what is your most proper employment at the Lord's table. Adore and contemplate the riches of redeeming grace, that great theme which “ the angels desire to look into.” Think, with humble amazement, on the boundless mer. cy of God, which reached even to you, and with the highest thankfulness on the honor to which you are admitted, of receiving the sensible pledges of his love. Dwell on this impenetrable mystery of “ Immanuel God with us " God manifested in the flesh.” Think on this awful proof of divine justice and holiness, the wrath of God poured out upon his own Son. Think on the perfection of that atonement which is made for the fins of the world. Rejoice in the fulness of that Saviour who is now made “ head over all things to the church ;” and draw, by faith, from his fulness, every necessary supply to yourselves : and as you are now to commemorate his death, with a view to his second coming, think on that “ day of salva“ tion,” when he shall come “ to be glorified in his faints, " and admired in all them that believe ;" when you shall enter in triumph into the holiest of all, where no doube the mystery of redemption shall be more fully discovered; when faints and angels fhall jointly fing that new song, Rev. v. 12. “ Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to re“ ceive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and “ honor, and glory, and blessing ;" when the whole plan of divine grace shall be completed and closed, and the me. diatorial kingdom itself brought to a period; for “ then “ cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the “ kingdom to God, even the Father ;” when confirmed angels, and redeemed finners, when the whole host of heaven shall unite in one acclarnation, “ Hallelujah ; for “ the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.”
Bui God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of oun
Lord "fesus Christ.
N NY brethren, we are this day met to keep up the VI remembrance of our Redeemer's sufferings and death in our room. We are to commemorate an event the most important, the most interesting, and the moft astonishing, that creation ever beheld. We are to contemplate à subject the most wonderful and mysterious that ever was offered to the mind of man. The incarnation of the Son of God, the King of kings found in the form of a servant, and the Prince of life expiring on an accursed tree. What is this but the union of things the most opposite and seemingly inconsistent that can possibly be conceived ? the union of the most distant extremes of strength and weakness, glory and baseness, honor and shame?
In a sort of correspondence and analogy to this great subject itself, nothing can be more opposite than the fentiments formed by believers and unbelievers with regard to it. To the one it hath a dignity and majesty unspeak. ably amiable; to the other, it hath a meanness and base. ness that is shameful and contemptible. The Apostle
Paul often takes notice of this, that it was “ to the Jews a “ stumbling-block, and to the Greeks foolishness;" and he often discovers his own inviolable attachment to his Saviour, by an open profession of esteem for those circumftances in his character and appearance which a blinded world were most apt to treat with derision and scorn.
This is particularly the case in the text, “ But God for. “ bid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord “ Jesus Christ.”
By the cross of Christ, in the New Testament, we are fometimes to understand the sufferings of believers for Christ's fake; but more commonly, and I think, evidently in this place, it fignifies his humiliation in general, and particularly his crucifixion, to which circumstance our attention is directed, because it was the most base and ignominious of the whole. In this the apostle says he would glory : nay, he expresses his abhorrence at the thought of glorying in any thing else: “ God forbid that I should “ glory fave in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Nothing can be more suited to the employment of this day, and nothing more proper to distinguish between the friends and the enemies of Christ, than this, when carefully attended to; for the one will undoubtedly glory and the other will as certainly be ashamed of his cross.
In discoursing further on this subject, what I propose, through divine allistance, is,
1. To explain the import of the apostle's glorying only in the Saviour's cross.
II. To thew what good reason every real Christian hath to glory in it. And,
III. To make some practical application of the subject.
I. In the first place, then, let us explain the import of the apostle's glorying only in the Saviour's cross. What is this object in which the apostle says he would glory? Very wonderful indeed. It is, that Jesus of Nazareth, the fon of Mary, was subjected to a long life of sorrow, reproach, and contempt: That towards the close of it, he was arrested, accused, condemned as a malefactor; and after innumerable and unspeakable indignities, was at lafi